I am a Walk-away Wife. I am 43, he is 46. I have been emotionally separated from my husband of 22 years for about 3 years and physically for a year.

At the time I left him him, he was a work-aholic, angry, verbally abusive, starting physical abuse (towards me only) man. I did not leave for another man, I left so there could be a 'me' to continue living, to continue being a 'mom' to our kids, to be a daughter to my parents, and friend to my friends. That person was in danger of disappearing emotionally & with the abuse escalating, disappearing physically.

I have low self-esteem from being raised by 2 OCD parents, as the oldest child, perfectionistic tendancies run deep in me, which were compounded by my parents unrealistic expectations & low tolerance for failure. I self-silence my needs & emotions, because of lack of trust in those I love to meet them for me, & belief that 'how could I possibly be worth it?' I understand that about myself & have been working on it in counseling for over a year and a half now.

My husband & I were HS sweethearts, each others 'first & only' and we were engaged by ages 19/22 & married by 20/23. At the time we were each others best friend.

I am pursuing a graduate degree at a university multiple hours away and working a full-time job which provides most of the day-to-day family living expenses and the all important health insurance.

His '75hour a week job' is part-owner in and managing the family-owned business, in which we have most of our savings & investments (outside my job-related retirement account). He has no steady income that comes to the family, as what is made from the business is reinvested back into it in order to make it grow. When extra expenses (vacations, car repairs, etc) arise, the business covers them. We do not own our own home, it is part of the family business that we rent it from, that part which is still owned by other members of his his family.

We have two kids early & late teens. One is leaving for college this fall. While not happy about the situation, they want happiness for both of their parents & hope that we can find it. The oldest understand both of his parents well enough to see the issues we both bring to the table & why this relationship is rocky. He understands his fathers abuse as he too has bore the brunt of the words from when he was little on. He understands my perfectionism, as he has bore the brunt of that from me as well. He is supportive of both of us, without being too judgemental, too often towards either of us.

The youngest is sad, but as she said early in the separation, she sees more of her dad now then when we were 'married'. That broke my heart & I am sure his as well. But as they say, from the mouths of babes.

I have been on DB since before I left in June of 2007. We did marriage counseling for 4 months, but when he continued to choose the job over going to counseling, I quit. He never did any DB'ing, when I first left.

In fact he did just the opposite, everything DB'ing tells you not to do. He called my friends and told them lies about why I left, he called me at all hours of the day & night, tried getting into my house, kept swinging between angry & despair, then dumping those feelings onto me & not taking any responsibility for the situation at all. It did exactly what they say it does.. pushed me even further away even faster.

In the past 6 months, we have begun talking and communicating better than we have in 20 years, if ever. I will try to answer questions that are asked respectfully, to share as best I can what is working for us and the things that changed for both of us, in order for this to occur.

We are still separated physically, although we see each other almost daily and talk on the phone multiple times a day.

I will not tolerate flamers or those who want to take me to task for being the WAW. You have not walked a mile in my shoes. If you feel the need to have someone to take your anger about your situation out on, look in the mirror and tell it to them.

As I said earlier, I will try as best I can to answer respectful questions to share a perspective from a WAS viewpoint.

Divorced 03/2010
Mom to two amazing kids

Taking the road less traveled because those encountered on the way may be just as unique.

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